In South Africa, the pause button has been pressed when it comes to the corona vaccine from the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
This happens after experiments show that the vaccine has had “disappointing” results against the South African variant of the corona virus – the variant that affects up to 90 percent of those infected in South Africa.
The study, conducted by the University of the Witwatersrand on 2,000 test subjects, shows that the vaccine offers only “minimal” protection against mild and moderate cases of covid-19.
The result was confirmed on Saturday by Oxford University , which has developed the vaccine in collaboration with AstraZeneca.
WE KNOW THAT ABOUT THE STUDY
A total of 2,000 people have participated in the initial study, which was conducted at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa.
It is not known whether the vaccine prevents more serious diseases.
This is because most of the subjects in the study were young adults who typically do not become seriously ill from covid-19.
The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, is due to be published on Monday.
In a peer review, independent researchers review the results to ensure their reliability.
Source: Ritzau, The Guardian
“A bomb has exploded”
It was otherwise intended that South Africa should start vaccinating the country’s healthcare staff with the one million doses of the vaccine next week.
The message is a huge shock to the South Africans, who, like elsewhere in the world, saw the vaccine as a light at the end of the tunnel. This is what DR ’s Africa correspondent, Søren Bendixen, from Cape Town in South Africa, says .
– Perhaps the researchers were aware that there were indications that there were problems with this vaccine , but the population has seen the vaccines as what should get them out on the other side of the corona. So it’s a bomb that has exploded in the head of the countryside, he says.
Would vaccinate before third wave
According to Professor Sarah Gilbert, the leading vaccine developer at Oxford University, a modified version of the vaccine , which works on the South African variant, will be ready “later this year”. She tells the BBC .
But South Africans can not wait for that, even if they have to, says Søren Bendixen.
– South Africa has just topped the second wave – and it was the hope that the frontline staff could be vaccinated protected before the third wave is expected to hit in May. But that hope is now gone, he says.